Horse riding in mountains, volcanoes, refugios and high passes in the Andes
Here are some mountains well known to climbers and mountaineers, or ‘andinistas’ as they are called here. Horse riding in the Cajon del Maipo in the high cordillera rides we ride through the valleys near them or to the lakes below them on horseback. Occasionally, as with the fossil lake, the refugio Plantal and the base of Marmolejo, the rides go high up into the mountains. This is one of the best outdoors activities from Santiago.
- Marmolejo – Highest in this part. At 6108 metres it is the most southerly mountain in the world over 6000m
- El Morado – Lakes and Glaciers – 5060 metres
- Volcan San Jose – Glaciers and Fumarola. 5856 metres
Other mountains to be seen from different viewpoints on rides include El Plomo (from where the child mummy came), El Colorado, El Meson. Aconcagua, the highest peak in Chile, lies to the north of Santiago.
These mountains are all part of the high rides, out from Bano Morales (summer only). At the slightly lower level of El Toyo we can see the often snow-covered Colorado mountain which lies between Santiago and the Cajon, and from some places also El Plomo, mountain of legends and mystery.
In both the higher mountains and those a little lower down the paths and trails are sometimes steep but our horses are bred in the mountains and are sure-footed and strong. They are well looked after and well fed and have no difficulty with the steepness, even with a heavy load on board.
The skill of the horses, and the unimaginable beauty of the landscape, is such that the rides are fascinating and entertaining for advanced and less experienced riders alike, even though we rarely go out of a walk.
We offer camping or hotel alternatives, or a mixture of the two, since although the tracks are remote there is a dirt road to a small nearby mountain resort, Bano Morales, where there is also a national park with some good walking.
These rides are only possible in the Chilean summer, from January to early March. They are more remote and thus more costly than the regular rides that we take, also in the Andes, a little lower down. These go out from our small-holding in El Toyo, Cajon del Maipo nearer to San Jose del Maipo and just over an hour from central Santiago..